SAN DIEGO — For this Hispanic Heritage Month, CBS 8 is showing the power of art and how it's keeping the culture alive for students at the Monarch School in Barrio Logan.
"We're the only school of this kind in the country. All our students K-12 are currently experiencing some type of instability in their housing. We say they're unhoused," said Chuy Nunez, the Monarch School's public information officer and high school athletic director.
The school teaches children who don't have a permanent place to call home. With each stroke of paint, the walls are coming alive inside the Monarch School's Chrysalis Art Center.
"The kids need this; they need it like water. It's healing. Just give them a brush and let them spread their wings and fly," said artist German Corrales.
He was raised in Barrio Logan and now shares his passion for art with the youth. He is leading mural painting projects inside of the Chrysalis.
"If we're not mentoring then the streets will mentor you and that's not what we want," Corrales said.
Corrales is an artist who was raised in Barrio Logan.
"It's a privilege to paint. It's not for the poor and this is a very poor community," he said. "We need to bring it back, our culture."
He's teaching students about native Gods and monarch butterflies of Mexico.
"One of our native gods which is Quetzalcoatl. He's known for knowledge and power. That's what we're transferring for the kids," he said.
Painting is giving students a sense of pride and healing.
"With painting you get to express your feelings," said Andres, a seventh-grade student.
The chrysalis is a place of transformation for the butterfly and the Chrysalis in Barrio Logan has become a place of transformation too.
"I like art. When I'm sad, I do art," said Hailey, an eighth grader.
Beyond education and art, the school provides students with necessities including medical and dental care, food and clothing, hygiene kits, transportation, and family assistance.
The school says students live in shelters, motels, single room occupancy housing, double- or tripled-up with other families in small apartments, at camp sites, in cars, or on the streets.
The Monarch School's annual fundraiser is October 6. Find more information, here.
WATCH RELATED: Annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration with Chicano Federation (September 2022)